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Updated for meeting place location 7.14.08
NEXT MEETING : Saturday, July 19th at 9:00 AM â€“ under the pavilion at Rodes Farm Pool.
Task Force Formed to Develop Proposal to Save Rodes Farm Stables
As the result of a meeting on Friday, July 11th at the Lake Monocan Clubhouse, a task force of concerned residents has been formed to develop firm proposals to save Rhodes Farm Stables from closure.
Representatives of WPI and Wintergreen Resort met with concerned members of WPI and WPOA and our non-Wintergreen neighbors to discuss the future of Rodes Farm Stables. The resort representatives explained that, because WPI is faced with serious financial shortfalls, efforts are under way to cut costs across a broad range of resort activities. Among these is the proposed closure, after Labor Day, of the Rodes Farm Stables which, for the fiscal year just ended, reported an operating deficit of roughly $45,000, (as high as $60,000 if depreciation is accounted). There have been several expressions of interest regards purchasing or leasing the facility and the equestrian operations, but nothing that Wintergreen resort officials consider a firm offer.
The issue is further complicated because land ownership falls across both WPI and WPOA boundaries.
Lots of positive comments as well as concerns were forthcoming from the participants at Fridayâ€™s meeting, virtually all of whom were in favor of retaining the operation, despite the negative financial impact. The point was made that the Stables, regardless of profitability, are one of the many key factors that makes Wintergreen so unique and that, without the Stables, the value of each property and the quality of life in our community would be diminished.
The point was also made that reduction of the deficit is not unattainable and the resort representatives were asked to recommend to the Board that final decisions on the fate of the Stables be tabled long enough to give interested parties sufficient time to gather more information and come up with concrete, alternative proposals.
An ad hoc committee, tentatively known as â€œFriends of Rodes Farmâ€ was immediately formed to investigate and recommend ways in which the equestrian operations can be continued. The Friends committee will meet next Saturday, July 19th at 9:00 AM â€“ location to be announced. Those who have interest and who would like to volunteer and take a hand in the future of Rodes Farm Stables are encouraged to attend. As a first step, the committee will set up a means of mail and e-mail communications; information will be forthcoming.
One thing I would be interested in would be an equestrian shuttle service up and down Crawford Knob. It takes a good day to hike to Big Levels and you need to overnight to spend any quality time up there a horse shuttle would be a good amenity. But then it would probably spoil the solitude found up there and defeat the purpose of going. Maybe it could be just for us “old geezers” and the disabled.
Just a thought outside the box.
Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center, and UVA Health System, might also be interested in using the horses for therapy for adults and children.
Maybe a local shuttle to the grocery store from Stoney Creek could also be developed instead of burning fuel. An old restored stage coach or buggy when the weather permits.
Weekend and evening carriage rides on both properties would also be nice.
Those are nice thoughts. The employees at the stable have talked about overnight horse-back riding excursions into the mountains. There needs to be some support from WPOA to identify suitable trail access.
A few people are already looking into the possiblity of carriage rides. Wintergreen Stable has a couple of draft horses that came from an Amish Farm. There’s already a path from Wintergreen to the Nellysford commercial area. It just needs to be widened a little and have the pathway lights moved.
The Farmer’s market is another opportunity. A nice quiet draft horse or 2 could pick up people in the lower elevations for trips to the market.
Come to the meeting next Saturday – lets talk!
Coming from New Jersey, I was thrilled during my stay in Virginia that there was a community-based stable. The horse/human connection is limitless: therapies both emotional and physical; youth at risk; corporate leadership workshops; show competitions; and even creative arts workshops. A farm extension to study equine diseases, nutrition, pasture maintenance, and other issues might be of interest to UVA.
I live in Arlington, Virginia (Washington, DC metropolitan area) and own a condo on the mountain at the Wintergreen Resort. I also board my Tennessee Walking Horse at Rodes Farm Stables. Being a horse lover, I was thrilled to find a stable for my horse. Rodes Farm is a wonderful place to board and I have enjoyed networking, trail-riding and making new friends! It is a small community and the neighbors love the horses. Rodes Farm Stables also runs a summer camp for kids who want to ride, learn horsemanship and equine care. We are hoping that as more people learn about Rodes Farm Stables, there will be new boarders!
If you or anyone is interested in riding and boarding a horse, please call the stables at the phone # below:
Or, please drop by: turn off of Rt. 151 and Rodes Farm Drive (go all the way down Rodes Farm Dr. and bear to the left at the end. The stables is on the left.